Silent Witness #1 Oppenheimer
Title: Silent Witness #1 Oppenheimer
Artist: Mark Lindquist, US
Materials: Walnut, Pecan, Elmÿ
Dimensions: 8 x 22 in. dia.
Owned By: Collection of Yale University Art Gallery
Object ID Number: 2016FBMLi1
Object Number: 2016FBMLi1
Notes: When I made Silent Witness #1, Oppenheimer in 1983, I was going against the expectation that woodturnings would be polished to a high shine. Initially, people were shocked by the rawness of the wood, the power of the vertical form, as well as the specific reference to a person and event etched in our collective history. The walnut log I used for the base of Oppenheimer came from a veneer mill near the Arrowmont School, where my father, Mel, and I had started the woodturning program. I used elm from my property in New Hampshire to make the central shaft. When I was living in Atlanta, Georgia, looking for a southern studio location, I cut and slabbed a pecan tree; a piece of that tree became the horizontal element of Oppenheimer. The piece of walnut I used to make the top of the sculpture was given to me by my friend Ed Moulthrop. As time goes by, the ideologies and concepts become part of history, but the memories of making and the relationships with people seem to last strongest. When Albert LeCoff and Glenn Adamson chose this piece for the landmark exhibit, "Wood Turning in North America Since 1930," I was pleased that they recognized the effort I was making at the time to create sculptures within the confines of woodturning. Ultimately Silent Witness # 1, Oppenheimer found its home in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery.